A new law in the Indonesian province of Aceh has made gay sex punishable by 100 lashes with a cane.
For the first time, the Islamic Sharia law will also be applied to non-Muslims in Aceh. Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population, but outside of Aceh, homosexuality is legal.
The law states that anyone engaging in homosexuality should be punished with 100 months in jail, 100 lashes, or a fine.
In 2009, the region was faced with International outrage when a law introducing the death penalty for homosexuality was introduced in 2009 and later vetoed by the governor.
“The two new bylaws deny people in Aceh the fundamental rights of expression, privacy, and freedom of religion,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Criminalizing same-sex relations is a huge backward step that the Indonesian government should condemn and repeal. Whipping as punishment should have been left behind in the Middle Ages.”